The same problem that our forefathers dealt with while growing plants are the same problem we face today – the pesky bugs. They would love nothing more than to chew on leaves, suck on sap, or feed on the roots. The best thing to do is to prevent problems from occurring in the first place by employing preventive measures to protect the plants.
How Do You Stop Pests and Bugs from Damaging Marijuana Plants?
The easiest way of ensuring that your plants do not have to suffer from the wrath of insects, buds, and other pests is to keep them away. It begins in the grow room, keeping it clean and sanitized. And then you can add additional measures to turn them away.
1. Sanitize Grow Room and Everything Else
Keeping the growing space clean can reduce the risk of infestation significantly. You also want to sanitize the tools and everything else you bring inside the grow room. That includes you and the clothes you wear.
A proper grow room should be leak-proof. Although not 100%, it is unlikely for pests to enter. About the only time that bugs appear inside the grow room are those that were introduced by you. Usually, that is due to contaminated consumables. It is also possible that pathogens from your clothes are the source of the scourge.
2. Use Sterile Soil and Fertilizer
Buying soil and fertilizers from reputable brands and suppliers is of utmost importance. If they came from a dubious source, there is no way to tell if there are eggs or larvae in the soil, for example. As you grow the plants, the problems begin when those eggs hatch or larvae start growing. Many of these pests can multiply rapidly and do not take long to increase in population, enough to wreak havoc. Most especially indoors, there are no natural predators, so that compounds the problem.
3. Introduce Natural Predators
One of the most natural ways of controlling an infestation is by using natural predators. Ladybugs, for example, are devastating to bugs that leave larvae. You can buy ladybugs from horticultural stores conveniently.
Another thing you can do, if outdoors, is to put a birdhouse or bird feeder somewhere nearby. On the one hand, birds can steal your seeds, so you have to be mindful of that. But birds are also helpful because they also eat pernicious pests and bugs which come close.
4. Grow Companion Plants
In an outdoor garden, another excellent way of preventing a pest infestation is to grow companion plants. Try to plant basil, marigold, catnip, geranium, or coriander near marijuana plants. Marijuana produces THC, which is an insect deterrent but not enough to repel many pests. The other plants help by exuding a scent that most bugs find disgusting. Try also adding dill or fennel. These plants attract beneficial insects to the garden and will devour the annoying pests.
There is an extensive list of companion plants you can add to the garden. Apart from deterring pests or attracting helpful predators, some companion plants can help fix nitrogen or enhance soil structure. Others help by diverting the attention of buds to them instead of marijuana plants.
5. Spread Predator Urine
If you are dealing with animals, you can use the urine of their natural predator. For example, deer may feed on marijuana leaves if they have no choice. But they also have a keen smell that helps them avoid other deadly animals. Buy bear or puma urine, spread it on the ground around the marijuana plants. Any deer that comes close should feel their heart beating hard as soon as they smell the predator’s urine. You’d see them scampering away.
6. Erect a Fence
Fence the perimeter of your property to keep large and small animals away. If possible, it should be at least 6 feet tall, and up to 8 feet. That should keep your plants safe from angulates from eating or trampling your plants.
7. Spray Insect Repellent Near the Plants
Another thing you can do and, quite quickly at that, is to buy a permethrin-based repellent. It is easy to use. Simply spray on the ground near the marijuana plants but not too close. Six feet is a good distance. Any bug that comes close and into contact with the repellent either retreats or dies.
8. Make Your Own Organic Bug Repellent
Some of the most delicious, enticing scents are also the most repulsive for bugs and many other pests. You can quickly make a concoction by mixing water with cinnamon oil, coriander oil, or clove oil and using it as a foliar spray. They do not harm marijuana plants, and you will have fewer headaches, having prevented an infestation.
Prevention Is Better Then Remedying Pest Infestation
There is no one way of stopping a scourge. Indoors or outdoors, you have to deal with attacks by bugs you can see and pathogens invisible to the naked eye. And oh, there’s more challenges out in the open. Because you will also have to make sure that none of the small or large animals can come close to your plants. Of course, that depends on where you are. At any rate, by employing two or more measures, you should be able to keep your plants safe.
Growing marijuana is a load of fun. Sure, it entails work and sufficient know-how. But there is knowledge and skills you can acquire. It does not take long, and you will have all of these mastered.